What Is Gear?

This is the Canon XL2 I’m gonna be using to shoot a short drama in a month, to be directed by my friend Erica. I’ve never used an XL2 before, although we did use a Canon H1 (Canon’s next gen camera) on Melissa and Brandon’s PSA a month or two ago.

Why am I posting and talking about the camera and not the project here?

Simple, because the way a lot of so-called filmmakers talk you’d think the latest and greatest gear makes all the difference in the world. And the XL2 is not exactly obsolete, but it’s a couple of years out of date. An eternity, for those indie filmmakers who talk about high def. No, who talk about 1080p. Or of even higher resolutions. Maybe 4K like the upcoming RED camera system. To those indie filmmakers, shooting with a standard definition camera like the XL2 just isn’t worth it.

Funny, ’cause most of those indie filmmakers seem to talk and talk and never actually produce any content.

I’m not saying HD isn’t awesome. I’ve done a lot of HD and HDV projects now. And the flexibility it has given me in post- being able to zoom in, pan, reframe, etc- is awesome. But I keep thinking of The Beatles and how they and George Martin created some of the best ever songs and recordings using 4 or 8 track audio recorders that have much less horsepower and flexibility than the audio circuitry found in a common laptop computer these days. Or of Phil Spector, and how he did all these great songs… in mono.

The idea is, yes technology matters to a point. But without creativity, technology is really just a bunch of stuff. Useless. Hollow. Of no use.

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